Dat­labs up­grades plant

Sunday News (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page -

LEAD­ING phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal man­u­fac­turer and dis­trib­u­tor, Dat­labs has in­vested more than $1 mil­lion towards up­grad­ing its fac­tory as it seeks to in­crease pro­duc­tion while eye­ing a win­dow of op­por­tu­nity in ex­port mar­kets.

Dat­labs chief ex­ec­u­tive officer Mr Todd Moyo said the Bu­l­awayo-based com­pany is at an ad­vanced stage of com­plet­ing its re­fur­bish­ment work.

“We are ac­tu­ally seized with up­grad­ing our phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal fac­tory that is the num­ber one project. We are putting in what they call a HVAC sys­tem, a heat­ing, ven­ti­la­tion and air con­di­tion­ing sys­tem. We have just fin­ished that, as I’m talk­ing the con­trac­tor is work­ing on putting chillers and fi­nal­is­ing that (in­stal­la­tion of chillers). We have done all civil works,” he said.

He said the com­pany pur­chased a state-ofthe-art au­to­mated phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal tablet press machine, which would ar­rive in the coun­try soon.

“We are at a point where we are wait­ing for the ma­chines. They landed in Dur­ban on 15 Septem­ber, these are tablet­ing ma­chines and they are four units. We have also been do­ing (re­fur­bish­ment of) our tablet­ing de­part­ment while we are wait­ing for those ma­chines, so that’s what we are con­cen­trat­ing on at the mo­ment,” said Mr Moyo.

He said the Gov­ern­ment has pledged to as­sist the com­pany to re­ha­bil­i­tate its in­tra­venous (IV) flu­ids man­u­fac­tur­ing plant in the wake of the cholera out­break last month. The plant has been non-func­tional for about 15 years and mooted plans to re­ha­bil­i­tate the IV flu­ids plant about five years ago at a cost of $2 mil­lion but the com­pany has over the years been fail­ing to do so ow­ing to lack of fund­ing.

“I know that the project Gov­ern­ment is look­ing for­ward to what we call the LVPs (Large Vol­ume Par­enter­als) project. These are the drips that we used to man­u­fac­ture. With the cholera out­break we would have ben­e­fited be­cause we would have sup­plied the drips. It is (re­viv­ing of the IV fluid plant), a plan which has been stand­ing for some time. We think it can be re­sus­ci­tated but the Gov­ern­ment has al­ready in­di­cated that they want to help,” said Mr Moyo.

IV flu­ids are flu­ids which are in­tended to be ad­min­is­tered to a pa­tient in­tra­venously, di­rectly through the cir­cu­la­tory sys­tem. These flu­ids must be ster­ile to pro­tect pa­tients from in­jury, and there are a num­ber of dif­fer­ent types avail­able for use. Many com­pa­nies man­u­fac­ture pack­aged in­tra­venous flu­ids, as well as prod­ucts which can be mixed with ster­ile wa­ter to pre­pare a so­lu­tion for in­tra­venous ad­min­is­tra­tion. Most of the LVPs con­sumed in Gov­ern­ment in­sti­tu­tions are do­na­tions from the mul­ti­lat­eral part­ners of the Gov­ern­ment. He said the com­pany would need close to $2 mil­lion to re­sus­ci­tate its IV flu­ids fac­tory.

“We have al­ready poured in $1 mil­lion, $500 000 was into the HVAC sys­tem and an­other $500 000 was into the ma­chines and also the small civil works that we are do­ing. So far we have poured in about $1,2 mil­lion and we need to pour in an­other $1,8 mil­lion on the LVPs project,” said Mr Moyo.

He said the com­pany has set sights at ex­port­ing most of its phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal prod­ucts.

“Ex­ports are pos­si­ble on the phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal side, once we have up­graded our phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal plant, what hap­pens is that we get the au­thor­ity from the other coun­tries to come in and in­spect the plant and say they are also sat­is­fied and then we will start ex­port­ing those phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal prod­ucts,” said Mr Moyo.

Mr Moyo said a num­ber of per­sonal care prod­ucts it in­tro­duced over the last few years were per­form­ing well on the mar­ket, par­tic­u­larly its Cam­phacare.

Dat­labs in­tro­duced its Cam­phacare into the mar­ket six years ago af­ter Tiger Brands of South Africa ter­mi­nated a 50-year man­u­fac­tur­ing ar­range­ment with the lo­cal phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal and per­sonal care prod­ucts man­u­fac­turer in 2013.

“Cam­phacare has done ex­tremely well. It was helped ob­vi­ously by the in­tro­duc­tion of SI (Statu­tory In­stru­ment) 64 (of 2016), it’s the prod­uct which has ac­tu­ally gen­er­ated money for us to do these projects. It’s ob­vi­ous it’s suf­fer­ing be­cause of forex prob­lems but it has ac­tu­ally done well,” said Mr Moyo.

He said the com­pany is look­ing for­ward to in­tro­duc­ing a wide range of new prod­ucts. The com­pany is ex­port­ing its Cam­phacare prod­uct to Zam­bia but has set its sights at spread­ing its ten­ta­cles across the re­gion.

@DNsingo

Dat­labs fac­tory — In­set: Mr Todd Moyo

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